The Karachays are Turkic speaking people of the North Caucasus, mostly situated in the Russian Karachay_Cherkess Republic. The Karachays (Karachaylyla, Qaracaylila) are a Turkic speaking people descending from the Alans and native Caucasians; their Turkic language is the same as the Kumyks from Daghestan. The Kipchaks and Cumans came to the area of the Caucasus in 11th century A.D, the state of Alania established in the Middle Ages had its capital in Maghas, which some authors locate in Arkhyz, the mountains currently inhabited by the Karachay (others place it in modern Ingushetia or North Ossetia). In the 14th century, Alania was destroyed by Timur and the decimated population dispersed in the mountains. Timur's intervention to the North Caucasus introduced the local nations to Islam; the name "Karachay" means "Black River". In 1828 the Russian army invaded the area of the Karachay.
Contributions by Kemal09, Khoikhoi, and Sawserok.